Design and synthesis of templates based on small molecules, peptides and peptidomimetics. The synthetic strategies involve solid-phase peptide synthesis using automated, semi-automated, manual and microwave synthesizers and multi-step organic synthesis. The lead identification and structure-activity studies generally use focused-library design or high throughput screening approaches.
The in vitro pharmacology of the compounds are established using functional bio-assays, binding, mutagenesis and pharmacokinetic studies. This provide the structural basis for ligand binding and activation, novel allosteric sites distinct from the orthosteric site, and ligand-directed differential signaling and regulation of receptors.
The Haskell-Luevano laboratory uses in vivo models to examine how melanocortin-specific drugs effect metabolic diseases.
After a drug is created, in vivo studies are performed in order to help verify the safety and effectiveness of the drug.